Ending the Curse of Remedial Math

Dec 27, 2017 | Stone Oak

The article linked below, "Ending the Curse of Remedial Math" by David L. Kirp (New York Times, June 2017) explains why students going into college must retake remedial math courses, and why only a third of students who do take remedial math in college pass.

A new program at City University of New York's community college is aiming to change that. By focusing on thinking, and not memorization, the CUNY Start program is preparing students for higher level math in record times. For students who need this, the program is great, but not readily available everywhere. One point Kirk makes is that a lot of times, entering freshman's issued started long before their college career:

Typically, those students fell behind in elementary school, and as new concepts were piled on every year, they never caught up. The “Strasbourg goose” school of teaching, in which students’ heads are stuffed with formulas that bear no relation to the real world, left them convinced of their own incompetence.

The decisions we make for our children in math right now affect their future success and the outcome of their college and career readiness. By focusing on memorization and algorithms, we are not truly preparing students for what is to come in math, like problem solving in everyday life. 

Instead, we need to focus on metacognition, which is getting children to think about their thinking. In other words, have students comprehend what they are doing in math and why, instead of just following the steps and getting an answer. Starting early, and young, can help them to avoid further struggles in math when they are older. Preparing for college starts now.

At Mathnasium, we don't just get students better grades. We also encourage them to reach metacognition everyday they come, because we know that that is how students learn. We provide a fun enviornment for all students, no matter their skill level, to master math from the foudnations and up.

Mathnasium of Stone Oak can help make your New Year's Resolution of giving your child confidence and better grades in math come true. Call our center for a free assessment and trial day, so you can see the difference our program makes today: 210-404-0123.


The link to the original New York Times article by David Kirp, June 2017, is below: